Friday, 3 August 2012


The moon, that satellite who every night watches over us. Some people think it has woman face and "she" smiles us sweetly. You can judge it at the end of this post.

In any case, the moon is a brilliant object that catches the attention of the men since ancient times.

One of the problems of the lunar photography is the high dynamic range. The moon is a very brilliant over a dark background. It usually is the most brilliant object in the scene. It's very difficult to expose correctly the moon and other objects in the same frame. Probably we'll have to choose between the moon or the rest (or shooting at earlier hours, when there is some light yet). Other option is the post-processing.

With a telephoto lens, I like view the details of the popular satellite. With a 300mm lens, a tripod and a camera with 10 Mpx or more, you can obtain beautiful pictures of the moon.

What are the perfect parameters to shooting the moon? I don't know the answer, but I can show us some pictures with different parameters.

300mm, ISO 100, f/14, 1/30sec.

300mm, ISO 100, f/16, 1/30sec.

300mm, ISO 100, f/18, 1/30sec.

300mm, ISO 200, f/13, 1/125sec.

After take the picture, I've touched the tone curve. Because of it, the three first images are similar with different F-numbers.

In summary, you must use fast shooting speeds, because the moon moves fast. The focus and a well fixed tripod are the keys for a sharp result. I recommend use a remote trigger and the mode "mirror up". If you have a focal length of 300mm or less, probably you should crop the picture, so the resolution is important in this case.

Notice all this pictures were taken with manual focus. The depth of field decreases with the aperture, but the amount of light decreases when the aperture also decreases (with a exposure time constant). With a large depth of field to put the moon in focus is easier, but the we'll have less amount of light and we could have problems with the diffraction.

The moon, that satellite who every night watches over us and catches the attention of all the men, also photographers included.


  1. OOOOO, so glad I finally found you. Thanks for a great post. Bella Luna!

    1. Thanks to you :)! You are very kind :)! Greetings from Spain :)! Muchas gracias :)!

  2. Incredible shots. Thanks for the tips.

    1. Thanks so much :)! They are basic tips from my basic experience, but I hope they would be useful :)!

  3. Great shots! My exposures are a little different then yours. I come from 35mm film photography and now started using digital. Because I had to rely on manual settings with my 35mm camera and the moon is lit buy the sun I shot the old way as a starting point at 1/ASA shutter speed @ f16. Can I use this as a starting point with digital?
    Thanks, Richard

    1. Hi Richard Sipos and thanks for your comment.

      I've never shot with analogic camera in manual mode (I want to do it in a near future). About the aperture, I think it's good to use semi-closed apertures (f/16 is a good aperture for me). With them you will have large depth or field (with telephoto lenses the depth of field decrease a lot).

      About the sensibility: the moon moves fast and f/16 doen't let enter too much light... I don't like increase the sensibility, but maybe it could be necessary. The correct answer depends of the ratio signal/noise of your camera.

      By other hand, you can view in this entry a picture taken at f/16 during 30 seconds with ISO 100 and the moon doesn't seem to be blurred.

      The best feature of digital photography is that you can test every times as you wants without spend money :)! Start with f/16, 30 sec. and minimum sensibility and test variations :)!



Do you like these pictures? Do you want share your point of view about this post? Would you like ask me anything? Please, comment :)!


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